Baseball Authors on Mariano Rivera’s Hall of Fame Election


It was an honor to be one of 425 voters who unanimously elected Mariano Rivera to the Hall of Fame, and it reflects a sign of the times in our modern world of Hall balloting. If Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Lou Gehrig, Willie Mays or Stan Musial were on today’s ballot, then they would receive the same distinction. Many of the old guard who still hold fast to concealing their ballots in a sinister sort of way are gradually being weeded off the BBWAA’s voter rolls due to new registration procedures, and first-year voters are coming in already attuned to the reality of the Hall of Fame Ballot Tracker and real-time voter updating on Twitter.

Unanimous election will not be such a rarity in the future, and Derek Jeter might well repeat it next year. In fact, my new book YANKEE LEGENDS purposely begins with essays on Rivera and Jeter in 1-2 fashion for this very reason: back-to-back historic inductions that will each break Cooperstown attendance records and based on likely back-to-back unanimous picks.

Hey, if this kind of Hall precedent can now be set after so many years of frustrating results, then who knows, maybe Pete Rose’s time could come deservedly soon.

—Mark Newman, author of No. 1 bestseller DIAMONDS FROM THE DUGOUT and YANKEE LEGENDS


There was no question Mariano Rivera would be a first ballot Hall of Famer. As the holder of the all-time saves record, especially during an era when relievers play a more significant role than ever before, it was a slam dunk. His credentials were impeccable and undeniable. The background shame of the vote was that it took so long for Trevor Hoffman to get in when he was the previous record-holder. Fortunately, that matter was rectified.

Roy Halladay was going to make, but it wasn’t clear if he would have made it so quickly if he had not tragically perished in a plane accident. Pitching a playoff no-hitter adds to his already fine credentials for acceptance.

It is a relief that Edgar Martinez made it into the Hall on his last try. A lifetime .312 batting average, plus his importance to his team and to the Seattle community helps him stand out. There is even a street named after him in Seattle.

Mike Mussina was the sleeper success story. Not sure how many people saw that coming. His large number of wins makes him worthy, but he did not seem to be the flavor of the month to gain support and attention. Perhaps this will open the door through the Veterans Committee for long-retired, but just-as-successful starters with similar win totals in Tommy John and Jim Kaat.


It had to happen someday that a candidate would receive unanimous voting support for the Hall of Fame, as Rivera did. The astonishing thing, in retrospect is how many sure-thing candidates did not receive unanimous vote totals. Imagine, looking back, being among those who did not vote for Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Warren Spahn, Sandy Koufax and so many more.

—Lew Freedman, author of The 50 Greatest Tigers Every Fan Should Know, The 50 Greatest Pirates Every Fan Should Know, and Bronx Bombers


10 Things to Remember if You Love a Person with Dementia

For Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, we wanted to bring your attention various ways that will aid you while you care for someone with these diseases. Here are 10 things to remember if you love a person with dementia by Barbra Cohn, author of Calmer Waters: The Caregiver’s Journey through Alzheimer’s and Dementia

It’s sometimes hard to love a family member who has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. People with dementia can be quarrelsome, uncooperative, negative, whiney, belligerent or combative. They might get their nights and days mixed up, pace the floor for hours, wring their hands non-stop, or cry like a baby. They might ask you the same question twenty times in a row, refuse to budge when you need to get them to an appointment, or refuse to eat what you’ve made for dinner.

When the going gets tough, it helps to remember that you love the person who resides inside that body that is tight and tense and inflamed from amyloid plaque that has strangled the neurons and disrupted the neurotransmitters that allow thoughts to flow and emotions to stay even.

When you’re about to lose it, walk out, or hide in the closet, stop for a moment and remember at least one of these 10 things about the person you lovingly take care of.

People with dementia and Alzheimer’s often feel:

  1. Embarrassed when you say, “ I just told you . . ..” Instead of reminding them that they forgot what you told them a second ago rephrase it, breaking it down into a simple sentence . . . or completely change the subject.
  2. Fearful because they don’t see things spatially the same way we do. Their sense of space is distorted and their vision gets skewed, not because there is something physically wrong with their eyes. But rather, the brain interprets what the eyes see, and when the brain doesn’t work right our perception gets distorted. Two things you can do to help are to put extra lights in dark areas of the living quarters and remove throw rugs in order to reduce falls.
  3. Lonely because they can’t communicate well, or some of their friends have “jumped ship.” Set up times for family or friends to visit or take your loved one on an outing.
  4. Confused because they don’t understand why they can’t drive anymore, or why they can’t go for a walk alone, or why they can’t remember where they live or what their son’s or daughter’s name is.
  5. Angry because the keys to the car have been taken away, or because they get frustrated when they can’t express their feelings or thoughts.
  6. Sad because they can’t read a book or newspaper, or can’t manage to engage in their favorite hobby or sport.
  7. Anxious because they can’t move as fast or get dressed by themselves or put on their shoes easily. Or, because they hear sounds that are disturbing or are bothered by someone else’s behavior.
  8. Nervous because they have lost their sense of balance and feel unsteady on their feet. Or because they don’t like the feel of water on their skin and don’t want to bathe and don’t want to be forced.
  9. Frustrated because they can’t write a check, figure out how much tip to leave, or remember how to use the TV remote control.
  10. Paranoid because they think someone is stealing their money or prized possessions.

When all else fails, take a deep breath and put on some music. It almost always uplifts the spirit—for both the caregiver and the person being cared for.

Barbra Cohn has been a professional writer for 35 years, and has written hundreds of health and travel articles for national, regional and local publications. For a decade, she cared for her husband, Morris, who passed away from younger-onset Alzheimer s disease at age 69.

If you are interested in acquiring this book, you can contact us here or give Cardinal Publishers Group a call at 317.352.8200. To see more of our fine books, have a look around our catalogs. We would love to do business with you. 


His Life and Works

Sadly the world lost a great visionary physicist when Stephen Hawking passed away on March 14, 2018 at the age of 76. Though Stephen has passed on, his life and works are captured in the early reader, All About Stephen Hawking. 

Diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when he was 21 in 1963, he went on to become one of the best known physicists in the world.

The last thing Stephen Hawking thought would happen while he was an Oxford student was that people across the world would know his name. He never expected that the hobby he loved – stargazing, would lead him to be one of the world’s greatest scientists. He dreamed of making cosmology, or the study of the universe, accessible to everyone.

With endless motivation, he never let amyotrophic lateral sclerosis stop him from receiving a graduate degree from Cambridge. Nor did he let it stop him from going on to be an expert in the scientific origin of the universe and black holes.

Hawking is best known in pop culture for writing A Brief History of Time, which explained cosmology in non-scientific terms so that non-scientists could understand it. He quickly became a British Sunday Times bestseller. Among scientists, he is known for discovering Hawking radiation, or the energy emitted by black holes, which was believed to not exist.

Hawking ranked number 25 on BBC’s list of the 100 Greatest Britons, and he has received many awards, including the Heineman Prize, Albert Einstein Award, Copley Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

About the Author of All About Stephen Hawking

Chris Edwards, Ed. D., has had his scholarship and teaching methodology published in journals produced by both the National Council for History Education and the National Council for Social Studies. He is a frequent contributor on topics of law, logic, and theoretical physics to the science and philosophy journals Skeptic and Free Inquiry. He proudly teaches world history and Advanced Placement world history at a public high school in Indiana.


To see more of our early reader titles and our array of other books of many different genres from trivia to sport, from fiction to self-help, have a look at our catalogs. If you see something you would like or have a question about, you can contact us or give us a call at 317-352-8200. We would love to assist you.

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We Regret to Inform You

We regret to inform you

By Rand Mills, co-author of Summer Wind: A Soldier’s Road from Indiana to Vietnam

Wars have many universal qualities. Recently, a friend of ours who is an army chaplain shared a story. His cell phone rang at 2:30 in the morning. He was told by his commanding officer to begin preparing to inform a family that their son had died in an army training accident. “I was picked up by a captain and we proceeded to drive several miles to the family’s home. As we traveled through the night, he and I went over the army protocol for informing civilians of a family member’s death. As we neared the house, my stomach tightened, and I felt sick. Then we arrived. I realized no protocol would ever suffice to completely help us or the people we were about to speak to deal with the crushing news we carried. Through a window, we caught a glimpse of the couple, going about their lives, unaware that in the next few seconds they would receive devastating information that would forever change their lives. The captain drew himself up, cleared his throat, and knocked firmly on the plain white wooden door.”

During the Vietnam War, this same sad traumatic ritual was repeated over fifty-eight thousand times. Much of that long ambivalent conflict occurred fifty years ago or longer, so that, unfortunately, the stories of those who died and the stories of the unbearable grief their family members endured have been muted by the passage of time. What were once living, powerful, and horrific tales told by and kept in the hearts of citizens about the war have rapidly begun to grow archetypical. Younger generations know the conflict only as the war we lost, unaware of the utmost bravery and sacrifice of both service men and their families.

We are baby boomers. Summer Wind: A Soldier’s Road from Indiana to Vietnam, based on powerful family letters, was written by us foremost as a story of cathartic sadness and healing for our generation. It is our hope too that in telling the story of Dick Wolfe and his family, some level of understanding about the Vietnam War beyond the brutal fighting—the war’s impact on families, communities, and friendships—might be available to all generations, and that all those who read the book will stop and pause for a moment whenever they see names of casualties from any war inscribed upon a monument, great or simple, and be moved to silent respectful meditation by the inscrutable mysteries and ongoing grief wrought by war.     


Randy Mills is a professor of the social sciences at Oakland City University. His articles have been featured in Connections: The Hoosier Genealogist, among others.

If you would like to know more about Blue River Press, you can contact us here or give us a call at 317-352-8200. One of our skilled representatives will be ready to help you.

Stretch Your Way to Better Health

Stretch Therapy

Stretch Therapy

Stretching is an important part of life. Doing it regularly keeps us flexible and agile. Stretch Therapy details the delightful realms of anatomy, physiology, and stretching! Included in the book are basic terms for you to become familiar with as you go through the chapters.  Each section opens with key words and thoughts that are important to the body areas that are being stretched.

The author, Emily A. Francis, focuses on breathing practices to help you gain full access to your breath. Slow and steady breathing as you stretch allows you to bring added heat to your muscles when you exhale. She also instructs you not to hold your breath during any of the stretches.

The book is filled with illustrations and color photographs demonstrating proper positioning for each stretch along with instructions. Included are individual stretches that range from floor, to standing, to chair stretched. There is also partner stretching with photos indicating the various stretches that are done with the aid of a partner.

“I am a primary care physician and I see many patients having problems with musculo-skeletal issues. This is especially true after the weekend. Many patients with these problems are “weekend warriors” or just took on too much to do, while with others it is an aggravation of an ongoing recurring problem. But overall regardless of whether the problems are weekend related or occurring regularly, there is no doubt that if these patients had stretched adequately prior to their efforts and on a regular basis, they would be in a far better situation. And this is why I recommend this book and encourage adequate stretching to patients.” ~ David M Reingold, M.D.

To learn more about this book or to purchase a copy, you can click here or give us a call at 317-352-8200.



About the Author

Emily A. Francis has a B.S. in Exercise Science and Wellness from Jacksonville State University with a minor in nutrition. She also wrote, The Body Heals Itself.

If you would like to know more about Blue River Press, you can contact us here or give us a call at 317-352-8200. One of our skilled representatives will be ready to help you.


The content was compiled by Ginger Bock

The 365 Day War

The 365 Day War by Randy Mills

In the book he co-authored with his wife Roxanne, Summer Wind, they share the touching story of a Vietnam soldier preserved in scores of letters he sent home. The following is a small glimpse into the hardships and trials the many Vietnam vets faced during that war. 

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Men and women who served in Vietnam endured different experiences based on whether or not they served in the field at small primitive base camps or were stationed at much larger relatively safe bases. When and where they served also shaped their experiences. The vibe of the war drastically changed by 1965, and again, in 1968. Fighting in the Central Highlands was different than fighting in the Delta region. There were many other areas of fighting—the Iron Triangle, Thunder Road, around the DMZ, Pinkville, and so forth.

Americans did share many common experiences in Vietnam—the hot, humid climate; the horrendous mud of the wet season and the constant blinding dust of the dry; an assortment of large biting insects. Perhaps the most profound element shared by those in combat involved the DEROS policy practiced during the war.

Ronald Glasser, an officer in the Medical Corps during the Vietnam War observed in his book, 365 Days, that there was no novel to be written about the Vietnam War at the individual level. “There is not enough for a plot, nor is there really any character development. If you survive 365 days without getting killed or wounded, you simply go home and take up where you left off.”[i]

This rotation policy would make it difficult for many combat soldiers to heal once they returned home. One doctor who worked extensively over the years with Vietnam veterans believed that many of these returning soldiers suffered emotional problems once they returned home because of a lack of the preservation “of the social and moral cohesion of the soldier’s face-to-face combat unit,” especially from the “destruction of unit cohesion by individual-rotation policy [DEROS] in Vietnam.” These elements were why so “many psychological injuries that might have healed spontaneously instead became chronic.” Unlike in World War II, the typical Vietnam soldier “went over alone, integrated himself as a ‘fucking new guy’ in an already formed and highly stressed unit, and often came home alone, leaving behind a unit that was still in combat. He had no chance to ‘debrief,’ to talk about what happened with people he trusted who understood his experiences.”[ii]

For many combat soldiers in Vietnam, the fighting amounted to a 365 day war, a struggle which had little meaning beyond their survival and the survival of their immediate fellow soldiers.   

[i] Ronald Glasser, 365 Days, New York: George Braziller Inc., 2003, XII.

[ii] Jonathan Shay, Achilles in Vietnam. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994, 198.

Randy Mills is a professor of the social sciences at Oakland City University. His articles have been featured in Connections: The Hoosier Genealogist, among others.

Remembering Martin on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Today we remember a great man who helped to change the face of the United States. As one of the most influential leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is known as a man whose work toward equality was not done in vain. The following comes from the author of the young readers book, All About Martin Luther King, Jr., Todd Outcalt as he help us all in remembering Martin on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Writing a biography for children is a great gift in itself.  But talking to children about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy in America is even more remarkable.

            Children love to ask questions.  And one of my favorites came from a little girl some months ago who asked, “Do you think Martin liked school?”

All About Martin Luther King Jr.

All About Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

            I assured her that Martin did, indeed, enjoy school.  In fact, one of the most overlooked aspects of Martin’s life is, I believe, his amazing intellect.  As a child, Martin was always the top student in his class, and he also graduated from high school at the age of sixteen—tops in his class.  In college, same story.  And he was one of the youngest graduate students at Boston University, where he earned his Ph.D. in theology. 

            Martin was a great mind.

            For children—and for adults for that matter—remembering Martin’s academic achievements can also serve as an inspiration for students today.  Martin, even yet, provokes students of all ages to consider their own passion for learning , to strive for their best in the classroom, and to achieve all that is possible through one’s depth of knowledge and experience.

            This year, let’s salute Dr. King’s passion for learning and make a commitment to continue our own—in and out of the classroom.  That was his spirit.  And when we are learners, we continue to remember and to honor his legacy.

~Todd Outcalt 

About the Author

Todd Outcalt is a pastor, writer, husband and father. He has written for adults, children, cancer patients, and persons with disabilities. He lives in Brownsburg, Indiana with his wife and enjoys reading, kayaking, and hiking.


For more information about Blue River Press, to learn more about our All About Series, to discover our books, or interview our authors, you can contact us here. One of our representatives is ready to help you.


Writing History in Fiction

Perhaps you have decided you would like to write a story set in the past, but you have never attempted such a feat. Bestselling author, James Alexander Thom has written many historical novels. In his book, Once Upon a Time It Was Now, he shares tips and methods to help writing history in fiction.  The following is an excerpt from this book. 

In this book, I will compare historical novelists with historians.

The two are much alike; both tell stories of the past. But the historian’s viewpoint faces backward only. He is limited to looking back in time; the historical novelist is not. Limited only by imagination, a historical novelist can go wild with time, just as wild as any science-fiction writer.

For example, one day, long ago, I picked up a science-fiction book that began, “Once upon a time, there will be ….” And it went on from there to tell a story set in the future. That was a delightfully playful opening, and an understandable sentence — like something the god Janus might say. At the time, I wished I’d thought of it.

In my long career in this historical fiction business, though, I’ve found that the most effective storytelling concept is this:

Once upon a time it was now.

That has become my credo and my method as a longtime historical novelist. It’s quite simple, if you see as Janus sees:

Today is now.

Yesterday was now.

Tomorrow will be now.

Three hundred years ago, the eighteenth century was now.

You, as a historical novelist, can make any time now by taking your reader into that time. Once you grasp that, the rest is just hard work.

Stay with me, and you’ll see how such work is done.

Once Upon a Time It Was Now was published by Blue River Press in 2017 and is distributed nationally by Cardinal Publishers Group. For more information, you can contact us here or give us a call at 317-352-8200.

James Alexander Thom is an inductee of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. He has also written Saint Patrick’s Battalion (Blue River Press 2008) and Fire in the Water (Blue River Press 2016) among many other historical novels. His thoroughly-researched historical novels have sold more than two million copies. He was the inaugural winner of the Indiana Author Award in 2009. Two of his novels were made into television movies, by Hallmark and by Ted Turner. A Marine veteran, Thom lives in rural Owen County with his wife, Dark Rain, with whom he co-authored Warrior Woman.

Not Their Father’s War

By Randy Mills

Like the Korean War before it, the Vietnam War lay trapped in the shadows of WWII.  At first, the story of WWII was of dark days of great setbacks and fear, the story evolving into the dramatic process of the taking, losing, retaking, and holding of blood-soaked ground until glorious victory was achieved. Communities all over America exploded in joy on both V-E and V-J days.

Vietnam had a much different rhythm, starting out with the promise of a backward enemy easily subdued, a people saved. It offered the promise of a modern, effective mobile war, the sky filled with nimble darting helicopters, transporting troops quickly to the field to overwhelm a surprised enemy. Over time, Vietnam evolved into the bitter repeated story of the taking of a village, a hamlet, or a hill at a great loss of life, and then the giving up of the hard-won ground shortly thereafter. Frederick Downs, a 1967-1968 platoon leader in Vietnam, remembered how American troops “never owned anything except the ground they stood on. We were supposed to be winning the war, but we didn’t dare move outside our perimeters at night.”

Although the Vietnam War was starting to be questioned by 1965, families and communities were almost always stoic when one of their own left for the war. Young men who were drafted felt tremendous pressure to comply, to go quietly on the buses that took them to induction centers. They felt they could do no less than their fathers, many of whom bore physical scars from their own service to their country. In the end, the dusty World War II wool uniforms still hanging in the backs of closets all over the nation would eventually come to be like unwelcome ghosts, beckoning yet another generation to war. But Vietnam was not to be their fathers’ war.  

Randy and Roxanne Mills are the authors of Summer Wind: A Soldier’s Road from Indiana to Vietnam, Blue River Press 2017

Randy Mills is a professor of the social sciences at Oakland City University. He is the co-author of Unexpected Journey: A Marine Corps Reserve Company in the Korean War, the well-received case study of the call-up of Marine Reservists during the Korean conflict. His articles have been featured in Connections: The Hoosier Genealogist, among other publications.

Roxanne Mills is an author and an Associate Professor of English at Oakland City University in Oakland City, Indiana. She is the co-author of Unexpected Journey: A Marine Corps Reserve Company in the Korean War. Her work has been featured in journals and magazines such as Traces of Indiana and Midwest History, and Indiana Magazine of History, among others.

Summer Wind is distributed by Cardinal Publishers Group. For more information about Blue River Press and the books we publish, you can contact us or give us a call at 317-352-8202. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


To Tell or Not to Tell After a Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s

By Barbra Cohn, author of Calmer Waters: The Caregiver’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s and Dementia 

After my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I didn’t tell anyone besides my best friend, parents, and our brothers. We didn’t even tell our three children for an entire year because we prayed for divine intervention or a medical miracle. I also wanted to protect our children—two of who were in college—from the devastating news that would have an everlasting effect on our family. Although it’s a personal decision whether to tell and whom to tell about a serious diagnosis there are pros and cons for telling and for not telling.

After a diagnosis it’s important to get support from family and friends. If you don’t want to let the world know, then don’t. It’s entirely up to you. But it’s important to at least let your nearest and dearest friends and family know so they can help support you.

 If you work for a company, teach at a school, or are under the direction of an organization and have gotten warnings about not meeting expectations or deadlines or about failing to perform, you are obligated to disclose your illness. Your boss might be willing to cut back your hours and responsibilities. On the other hand, you need to be prepared to accept that you will be asked to relinquish your position.

Although everyone has heard of Alzheimer’s disease, most people still do not understand how the symptoms manifest. Some people will treat you as if you have a contagious disease and will disappear from your life. Others will come forth with compassion and kindness and offer to help.

You do not need to tell everyone at once. Choose whom you want to tell, when you want to tell them, and how.

Make a list

  • Tell the people you are closest to and can count on
  • If you are still working, you will probably have to inform the person you report to.
  • Choose one or two neighbors who can assist if you need help. Put their names and numbers on the fridge.
  • Make an appointment with your attorney and financial advisor so you can get your affairs in order while you are still able to make decisions.
  • Rather than creating drama at a family gathering, have a one-on-one quiet conversation over tea with the people you choose to tell.
  • If you need to, write down beforehand what you want to say. Do you want to ask for help? Do you want a friend to take you out for a weekly walk, movie or lunch? Don’t’ be shy. Most people are more than happy to help.

So if you are wondering whom to tell about a diagnosis, take these things into consideration and hopefully those you tell will express their concern by offering concrete help.


Barbra Cohn has been a professional writer for 35 years, and has written hundreds of health and travel articles for national, regional, and local publications. For a decade, she cared for her husband, Morris, who passed away from younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease at age 69.

You can pick up a copy of Calmer Waters:The Caregiver’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s and Dementia here or wherever books are sold.

If you would like to know more about Blue River Press and the books we publisher, you can contact us or call 317-352-8200.